Pros & Cons of Using Matt and Gloss Labels

As with any material you choose, there are always advantages and disadvantages to each type of finish.

Gloss Labels

Glossy LabelsThis decorative finish is often popular because it offers a more subtle decoration compared to, say, colored labels. The bright and shiny surface creates an attractive and professional finish, which can draw attention to important information. Gloss labels have special coatings, which add extra beneficial properties. For example, coatings tend to create a smoother finish and can offer protective properties, resulting in tougher and more durable sticky labels. They may also offer limited protection from environmental elements such as moisture. While paper labels can never be fully waterproof, our gloss and semi-gloss paper labels are “splashproof” and can be wiped clean and dry if lightly splashed with water.

Matte Labels

Matte labels may not be as decorative as gloss labels but this can be a benefit. Their subtle flat finish allows additional print to be added onto matte surfaces without drawing attention to the fact that this has been done. Some matte labels (especially matte transparent labels) become almost invisible after application, making it seem as though your additional print is actually part of the labelled item. Matt labels tend to be uncoated (with a rougher surface), although additional coatings can improve the finish. They can also be made with waterproof materials to create waterproof matte labels suitable for outdoor (or indoor) use. A less reflective surface can also be beneficial when the print must be easy to read – by humans or by machines. Gloss labels may be harder to read when light sources reflect off the surface. Matt labels are a better option for barcode labels and QR code labels. While some readers do not rely on detecting fluctuating levels of reflected light, traditional optical scanners do. The reflective surface of gloss labels may prevent barcodes and QR codes scanning correctly. The (usually) rougher surface of matte labels is often more receptive to handwritten or drawn designs along with craft materials, such as foils and stamps.

So Which Finish Should I Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between matte labels and gloss labels is up to you. Generally, it depends on the appearance you want for your self adhesive labels (and your labelled items). If you don’t have any practical considerations to bear in mind (which might rule out one or other of the finishes), it really does just depend on the finish that you prefer.